Perry Farrell will debut portions of The Satellite Party, his new musical-theater piece, at Lollapalooza on July 23rd and 24th at Chicago’s Grant Park. The former Jane’s Addiction frontman hopes to mount a complete production next year, before readying a cinematic version.
The Satellite Party features Farrell working with an eclectic cast of musicians: He’s written songs with the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea and John Frusciante, as well as U.K. electronic duo Hybrid; Black Eyed Peas’ Fergie contributes vocals to a few tracks; and guest musicians include New Order bassist Peter Hook, former Porno for Pyros guitarist Peter DiStefano and former Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt.
“The songs with Flea and John I love,” Farrell says, “and the ones with Hybrid reach a new level of depth because the way these guys produce and the way Peter Hook plays.”
This collaborative spirit reflects the musical’s storyline. “It’s about a collective of artists — fine artists, musicians and dancers — that do flash mobs,” he says. “A riot occurs at one of the flash mobs because they’re illegal, and the chief musician ends up in the hospital, where he meets the lovely night nurse. He asks for a radio to be brought into the hospital, chats up the nurse, gets a crush on her, and they listen to the radio together. And then one night there’s a vast visitation of energy through the radio that is actually a summons to come to the satellite party in the heavens.”
Farrell is relishing his newfound freedom since Jane’s Addiction’s bitter split a year ago. “It would be like if somebody opened up a huge car lot full of incredible cars and said, ‘How would you like to go and drive all the cars?'” he says. “And they have an open track and you actually get to drive it, do whatever you want in these cars, go as fast as you want. That’s what it feels like.”